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Weekend papers November 15-16
Sunday 16 November, 2014
Compelling old-fashioned Sunday journalism today from the People and Sunday Times shows up the bitchy and trashy offerings from the Sun and Star.
There's no let-up in the stream of historic sex abuse allegations and it was inevitable that we would eventually hear that some victims had been killed. The police said as much last week and now "Nick" has come forward to describe to Exaro reporter Mark Conrad how, as an 11-year-old, he had been ferried in dark cars across London to be abused by men in high places - and to allege that on one of these occasions he saw an MP strangle another boy.
It is a chilling story told in matter-of-fact language that will raise further questions about the Home Office's handling of the late Geoffrey Dickens's abuse dossier and the Whitehall farce of its putative public inquiry.
Announcing a public inquiry seems to be this Government's preferred way of dealing with an uncomfortable situation (Coulson and Leveson spring to mind). It gives the impression of openness and a desire to get to the truth, but the chances of that happening are more remote than Philae. What we need is a proper police investigation unhindered by masonic handshakes and political collusion.
Then it would be interesting to see a proper academic study - not financed or controlled by government - into the startling prevalence of this sort of behaviour in all areas of our society.
After the astonishing proclamations from Fifa this week about the purity of Russia and Qatar and the grubbiness of England, the paper we were looking forward to was the Sunday Times. It doesn't disappoint, with further disclosures about the corruption involved in World Cup bidding. Uefa needs to pull out of Fifa and it would be good if South America did the same. Nothing less is going to stop Sepp Blatter.
Any elation anyone might have felt about reports that 'Jihadi John' - why must we keep calling him that? - has been wounded will have dissipated with news of the murder of the American aid worker Peter Kassig and 14 Syrian servicemen.
From serious journalism we turn to the Sun, which is trolling Adele because she had the effrontery not to return Bob Geldof's phone calls. He wanted her to sing on the latest incarnation of the Band Aid Christmas song; she seems to have had better things to do. Charity is a matter for the individual. The Mirror - which bashed the BBC last week for not playlisting a remembrance song - and the Sun should recognise that and stop bullying those who choose not o dance to their tunes.
The Star? Kerry Katona? Who cares?
Saturday 15 November, 2014